Still, it’s not easy, and sales slumps are common. High cost per customer acquisition (CPA) can shrink your margins, which can kill your business. There’s a lot to get right in order to have a profitable ecommerce store.
In this guide…
- Customer testimonials
- Payment methods
- Checkout process
- Pricing tiers or upsell
- Time-sensitive deals
- The “bandwagon effect”
- Install live chat
- Page loading speed
- Customer engagements
- Product listings
- Special occasion offers
- Reward commitment
- Buyers personas
- Create a modern look
- Perfect your product pages
- Facebook user segmentation
- Mobile-friendly website
- Contact details
- Links and landing pages
- Long-form content
- Product images
- Personal tone
- Customised re-targeting campaigns
- Trust & security badges
- Money-back guarantee
1. Share authentic customer testimonials
One easy method in an eCommerce sales strategy is building positive impressions by showcasing what your previous customers had to say about their purchases.
The key word here is authentic: Provide testimonials from real people and companies who bought your product. Don’t create fake and generic names with fabricated reviews.
Ideally, incorporate pics of these satisfied clients in their endorsements — giving a face to glowing words improves relatability and legitimacy. This ‘social proof’ helps build trust and is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
After a sale, email your customer to ask for a review.
2. Add more payment methods
Gone are the days of businesses accepting only credit cards. From PayPal to Alipay (and cryptocurrency), people now have a variety of payment options. Let your customers pay however they want. If you can’t accept gift cards or Bitcoins, at least consider methods that mobile users prefer such as Venmo and Google Pay.
Sure, you may have to overhaul your checkout page. But this eases the buying experience of people who are already willing to give their hard-earned money but don’t have a MasterCard or Visa.
Amazon pay nailed it with the ‘one-click-buy’ checkout button. Creating a frictionless checkout experience helps to avoid cart abandonment and is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
3. Make the checkout process easy
Restricting user navigation isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, the opposite is true when you get rid of the navigation bar when a customer is already on the checkout page.
This eliminates distractions (i.e., hindrances to purchase completion). Sometimes, a customer goes back to your store homepage or browses products again just because they were a click away. Ensure the next sale by keeping links out of the checkout path.
4. Create pricing tiers or upsell
Creating different pricing tiers is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales, as it makes your products more accesible to a wider range of customers. Create three pricing levels: low, mid, and high. The trick here is that you give the mid-tier value to the product you want to sell the most.
Known as decoy pricing, this method nudges people toward the center of the pricing range. Why does it work? Imagine you’re looking for a basic white shirt and your favorite store has them priced at $15, $25, and $70.
Your brain makes the connection that the cheapest one isn’t the best in terms of quality. However, you don’t want to splurge on a single shirt either — so you go for the $25 shirt. You can also run upsell offers which help to increase the average cart value (spend) per customer.
5. Offer limited and time-sensitive deals
The mere fact that your goods or services are available all the time can deter potential customers from ever making a purchase. Some customer will wait, and make big purchases only when they know a sale is on.
In contrast, limited-edition items compel people to take action, making them ‘need’ a certain want. If it doesn’t make sense for your business to have limited-edition products, try limited offers instead.
When someone views an item, provide a free shipping or 10 percent discount coupon for that particular item — and it should be valid only for the next two hours or so. Remember that running too many sales will decrease the value fo your brand and train people only to buy when a sale is on.
Scarcity increases value. So when you run a flash sale, advertise it well and keep it short. This is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales when you have a good social media following to announce the sale to.
6. Initiate the “bandwagon effect”
Yes, it’s good to offer several options for each product category. But you should also help customers quickly narrow their options. A surefire way to increase online store sales is to point out the most popular goods or service plans:
Attaching a “Bestseller”, “No. 1”, or “Top Recommended” label to a product can reassure people with their purchase. It’s a psychological phenomenon: If one item is the go-to product of countless other customers, surely it must be good.
7. Install live chat
ECommerce businesses have to act and react fast. Don’t limit contact options to just email and phone support. People will just close your store with a single click if they can’t find someone to readily address their concerns. Thankfully, live chat platforms address this issue.
As soon as anyone enters your site, they’ll see a short message (usually on the bottom right) reminding them that chat support, which can be composed of both AI chatbots and real human agents, is available. Answering a customers questions about a product quickly is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales. It also helps to get repeat business, as it’s a good reflection on your customer service.
8. Improve page loading speed
This is one of the more technical tips on how to drive eCommerce sales: Don’t make your customers wait. If your store doesn’t load in mere seconds the way other websites do, the issue is probably on your end.
9. Display recent customer engagements
Let new customers know what others have bought from your store. Similar to the earlier bandwagon tip at No. 6 on our list, this is about affirming social presence — i.e., that people really do business with you. Think of it as live sale updates.
Whenever someone buys from your store, a small message will appear notifying site viewers which item was purchased. This can even include the recent buyer’s name and general location.
10. Clearly display product listings
You don’t want to overwhelm customers with a page filled with hundreds of items and their respective product details. We’re not saying you should stop selling half your goods and services. Instead, if you have a lot of products, consider having specific product categories as well as of general categories.
You’re still offering everything, but you’re also making it easier for people to choose with fewer (and more relevant) items per page. Clearly displayed product listings with easy to navigate information is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
11. Run “special occasion” offers
It’s already a thing in online video games: Players receive an in-game item and a special greeting when they log in on their birthday. You can do the same for people who already have customer accounts or gave their email address for store updates and announcements — and it can be automated.
Give free shipping or discount coupons along with personalised greetings during birthdays, New Year’s Day, and any other day you deem fit for your target market.
12. Reward commitment
This won’t work for every eCommerce business, but those selling consumable products or those in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry should take note. It’s normal practice these days to offer monthly, quarterly, and annual subscriptions.
However, customers need an obvious financial benefit for immediately paying for a full year in one go, or to committing to a subscription. Offer free delivery or significant savings to customers who sign up for a subscription plan.
13. Refine your buyer personas
Big data has made it possible for advertisers to precisely target prospects based on the places they visit, the things they mention on social media, and the type of apps they usually install. Of course, you don’t have to be a marketing firm or spend everything on data collection and analytics.
Simply check your initial buyer personas and see how you can produce more detailed versions based on your growing understanding of your unique customers. Targeting your website marketing at those specific buyer personas is one o the best ways to increase ecommerce sales, as you’re getting your products in front of the people who want to see it.
14. Create a modern look for your website
The template above from the BigCommerce site builder is a great example of a modern online store. This should be a no-brainer, but we still see so many online businesses that look like they were stuck in the early 2000s: filled with low-quality photos, WordArt, and a look akin to a Microsoft Word document.
Use a website builder such as Shopify or BigCommerce to create an awesome looking store, or invest in a web designer, particularly one who’s experienced with eCommerce.
15. Perfect your product pages
Minimalist product pages like this work really well for converting customers. Don’t assume your customers have already read every review and online brochure about your products.
Yes, people these days indeed have more avenues to learn about goods and services — but it’s not the case for everyone. Plus, you want to be an upstanding business that immediately addresses the usual customer queries before they’re even asked.
Review your copy now and then. You can trim it, but only to remove clutter and not the essential product information. It helps to be upfront about delivery time and cost. One of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales is to give customers all the information they need on the product page.
16. Utilise Facebook’s user segmentation tool
Don’t let the rise of TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram make you forget about the power of Facebook to quickly find prospects by the tens of thousands. The social platform has a tool called Lookalike Audience that utilizes information of people who already have your mobile app or follow your business Facebook page to find other people sharing their qualities.
It’s a fantastic way to find further value in your existing customers.
17. Secure a mobile-friendly website
Mobile is king — and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. BigCommerce indicated that the market share of mobile sales for total eCommerce sales will reach 54 percent in 2021.
You’re losing more than half your potential sales by ignoring mobile users, as the majority of people shop online using their phone. Thus, both the desktop and mobile version of your website should be well-optimised. Improve mobile navigation and checkout processes.
Having a website that works well on mobile is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
18. Display all contact details
One basic mistake still present in many eCommerce websites is not including contact information. If you want to buy a premium laptop from an online store, wouldn’t it seem fishy if there was no contact page?
Plus, a contact page with only an email address ruins credibility. A trustworthy business should also have a phone number and mailing address (and office address if there’s a physical office). At the least, add a contact form. Keep these posted at the top or bottom of your website aside from the contact page.
19. Check your links and landing pages
It’s awkward whenever an otherwise effective product ad leads a prospect to your site — but the link doesn’t lead them to that specific product page. They’re sent to the homepage or even an error page.
This doesn’t help your business nor your customers. Verify that your ad campaigns work as intended. Don’t send visitors to an unrelated (or even related) page as this will cause people to ‘bounce’. Direct them to the actual product page.
20. Invest in long-form content
When everyone seems to prefer images, videos, and visual content in general, does long-form writing still matter? Of course! If your 5,000-word guide is informative, easy-to-read, and well-formatted, you’ll be earning more reads and social media shares in the long run.
It’s one of the surprisingly best ways to increase eCommerce sales. You’ll be the authority on that product or product category — and you can talk about your own goods or services as long as it’s relevant. You can also use such content to invite customers to your newsletter.
21. Don’t skimp on product images
Presentation is a big deal. Whether you’re selling a five-dollar or hundred-dollar mobile accessory, the product images should always look good — and the same goes for the entire product page.
Don’t rely on stock photos or a low-end mobile camera. Ideally, get a skilled photo editor and graphic designer to handle the visual theme of your business. Pay close attention to image size consistency, lighting, quality, and thumbnails.
Customes want to see what they’re buying, so having effective product photos is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
22. Apply a personal (or even casual) tone
One of the growing eCommerce trends to increase sales is to be more conversational. Don’t be afraid of using pronouns like “I”, “we”, and “you” — you can remain professional without sounding rigid or cold.
Talking in a personal way makes visitors feel more welcome on your website. A button for availing of free shipping can be labeled with “get my free shipping voucher” rather than just “free shipping available”.
Depending on your target market, you can even get casual and use emojis and memes (but don’t overdo it).
23. Experiment with your headlines
Headlines on websites work the same way they do in newspapers. If your headline is bad, visitors won’t look at your products. The trick here is to test different headline formats — and wait for the results that you can then compare with each other.
Do people prefer short headlines with a huge font size? Is the background image appropriate or distracts from the promo headline? Through headline split-testing, you can see which works best.
24. Remember that people like free stuff!
One of the crucial eCommerce sales techniques for businesses selling digital services is providing trials — without requiring credit card details. They won’t have to worry about surprise charges to their credit card just because they continued using the service past the trial period. A free week is nice, but a month (or two) is better at enticing customers to pay for your product.
25. Assemble customised retargeting campaigns
Take advantage of even a single site visit. Retargeting ads are one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales as they are designed to get people back to your site the moment they leave. However, you must approach this with more nuance. Create different retargeting campaigns for each type of visitor. Someone who was looking for affordable gaming mice in your store, for example, will react differently to a retargeting ad meant for your visitors who browsed high-end gaming mice first.
26. Present trust and security badges
Look, you can make your site load in a single millisecond and have the best products ever. But no one’s going to stay if a red padlock icon appears next to the URL — it means your website isn’t secure enough. Cyber security is a big deal. You don’t want customers losing money to hackers or having their personal details leaked.
Once you’ve secured an HTTPS certification and get a green padlock icon for your eCommerce website, seek trust badges from companies like Better Business Bureau and Google to improve your reputation. If potential customers have landed on your website for the first time, seeing that you’re a trustworthy, credible retailer is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
27. Reassure with a solid money-back guarantee
Lastly, do what you can to stop customers from thinking they’re making a risky buy. Online purchases make people anxious. They may not receive the item at all or, perhaps, they’ll waste time contacting support for refunds or replacements.
Let them know you have a reliable money-back guarantee. Explain conditions clearly and completely. Assure them your business has superb after-sales support. It helps to build trust and is one of the best ways to increase ecommerce sales.
How do I start an online business?
Before you set yourself up with domains, web designers, and your whole product catalog, ask these few questions first:
- Is there a market need / demand for what you want to sell?
- How will you source customers with a reasonable cost-per-acquisition?
- What makes your store different, why should people buy from you?
Once you’ve answered these, you’ll automatically think of more questions to refine your overall eCommerce development strategy.
Research and market analysis are essential first steps in your online business journey.
Then, you’ll need to invest in the following:
A Domain name – your web address
Hosting (if you’re not using an online store builder) – keeps your store online
Social media tools – to help market your business and engage with customers
How can I sell online without a website?
If you already have products for sale, you can utilize platforms like Amazon and eBay. These eCommerce platforms have a global reach, so you can sell to international customers.
Competition is tough, however, so it’s best to know the ins-and-outs to get your products on the first page of search results. Likewise, you can sell on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social networks are great places to start your business if you know how to utilize hashtags, trends, and influencers.
Can I resell products online?
Usually, there are no legal ramifications for reselling goods. Many online businesses and buy-and-sell groups on social networks thrive on reselling.
You can earn from reselling thrift store finds, limited-edition music merchandise, and local goods that are in-demand overseas. However, many big brands and corporations don’t allow reselling their products on massive eCommerce platforms like Amazon. PRO TIP: Read up on policies and possible sales taxes for reselling on your preferred platform.
Lastly, be honest: Don’t say you have products that are 100 percent new or directly acquired from the manufacturer.
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